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That would not be the affirmative


I once read that the Finnish have 37 words for the word ‘snow’. 
I once worked with a man who had 37 words for the word ‘no’. 

So frustrating, but very clever. You realised after leaving the meeting and were half way
 back to your desk -  he had pulled it off, Again
I won’t name and shame. But JOHN* you know who you are.  
(*names may have been changed to protect the privacy of past work colleagues
 …or they may not …) 


This is one of the reasons I love working for myself and alongside my husband,
 whose default position is to be helpful. (Although I have to confess I do love it
 when occasionally he turns forceful and says “NO, Sally”.)

So for those who can’t help saying ‘no’, here are:
5 Reasons to say “YES”

1. ‘Yes’ helps the world go round. People will be much more likely to put 
themselves out for you in future.

2. ‘Yes’, can always have provisions – and yet you are still being positive.
“I would love to come and eat cake/drink wine with you but can only stay for the
 one” (What am I thinking?! That’s a terrible example, why would anyone stay just 
for one? A saying I learnt from my husband, who is Irish and full of wise words, is:
 “A bird never flew on one wing” This is his usual response when
 I ask “Shall we have another?”)

3. ‘Yes’ is a word that gets you places, over the horizon and off on exciting journeys.

 ‘No’ has you sitting looking at a wall wondering where all your friends have gone.

4. ‘Yes’ is good for your health. It has been proved that a positive attitude can 
be the one thing that determines why people can battle illness.

5. ‘Yes’, may land you in deep water occasionally, but hey, we learn 
the most from our mistakes!
I also have a friend who can’t say, ‘no’.
She told me she actually feels panicky and sick at the thought of it. Whilst I
 applaud this positive attitude, it does land her in trouble. However hard she 
works (and this includes working at night to get stuff done) occasionally something
 will slip through the net. People get cross.
  
So for those who struggle saying ‘no’, here are some suggestions:
5 Ways to say “NO”

1. Buy yourself time. “Sounds great, but I will need to check diary/timetable/with
 so and so” This gives you breathing space to marshal the reasons why you
 can’t do it and think of alternatives. “I can’t do that, but I can …”

2. “Love to, but which would you like me to prioritize?” 
Throw the ball back in their court.

3. “Not this time, but do ask me again … because bungee jumping with
 your mother in law sounds such fun.”

4.  Be honest. “I want to say ‘yes’ because I really like you/want to help/you scare me, 
but I just know I shouldn’t as I have SO much on and I don’t want to let you 
down at the last minute”

5. If honesty is a step too far, mention you are not going to be around. 
People understand if you say ‘no’ because physically you are somewhere else. 
“Sorry I can’t – I am out of the country/visiting a friend/going to be away etc” 
Just make sure you get your story straight and don’t end up hiding behind the sofa
 with the lights out for the weekend!

And what does the Irishman do?
He just very pleasantly, says ‘no’ . No explanation. 
No rambling on about I’d like to but… 
You would be surprised how effective it is and how inoffensive. 
But maybe a step too far for me! 


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